RE: Florida Cruising
There is nothing new in the Florida maritime tax laws; nonetheless, the issue of "Sojourner's Permit" has come up on every website that I follow. Here is what I have recently posted elsewhere:
Firstly, I suggest calling Charles Martin at the Florida Department of Revenue: (850) 487-6757 (or a Fl. maritime attorney) for specific and accurate information or advice.
My understanding is that the Sojourner's Permit is for a boat owner, non-Florida resident, who has his boat registered in another state. That boat can then come to Florida, buy a Sojourner's Permit at DMV, and spend either 90 continuous days in the State of Florida or up to 183 days in a 12 month period. So for example, a boat that has a NY registration can come to Fl., purchase a Sojourner's Permit and stay here for 89 days and then go to Bahamas or another state, and then return for another 89 days and then can come back for an additional 5 days; or the vessel may stay for 90 continuous days but not return within the 12 month period. NOTE: this is related to the USE tax and is not at all applicable to the SALES tax on a vessel purchased in the State of Florida. The purchaser of a boat in Fl., through a licensed broker, by a non-resident, has 3 exemptions that allow the boat to remain in the state for
particular time periods, the most common being the 90 day exemption.